Finance News

MPs back campaign to review FCA CEO's appointment as BoE governor

Bailey is due to begin his term on the 17th of March 2020.

Rozi Jones
|
26th February 2020
andrew bailey fca boe
"The report we have published today makes it clear Mr Bailey is not a fit and proper person to be the next Governor of the Bank of England."

Gina Miller has launched a new campaign which demands a review of FCA boss Andrew Bailey's appointment as the new governor of the Bank of England.

In a scathing critique of Andrew Bailey’s term as CEO of the FCA, Gina Miller's True and Fair Campaign claims that under his tenure, the FCA has faced a "catalogue of regulatory failures" which has led to consumer detriment.

Bailey was previously deputy governor of the Bank of England between April 2013 and July 2016. Then Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid, recommended Bailey as a replacement for current Bank of England Governor Mark Carney. He is due to begin his term on the 17th of March 2020.

The Campaign says that since Bailey's appointment at the FCA in 2016, the regulator has failed to investigate a complaint by a whistleblower against the failed HBOS Group, failed to publish an independent report into the abusive treatment of RBS business customers, and refused to respond to a whistle-blower’s warnings about London Capital & Finance which later collapsed, leaving 11,600 customers with losses of up to £236 million.

The Campaign also believes the FCA failed to properly regulate peer-to-peer Lendy which collapsed, costing 9,000 investors up to £90 million, and also noted failings related to the suspended £2.5 billion M&G Property Fund and the Woodford scandal in which 300,000 investors lost over £1 billion.

The True and Fair Campaign is now calling for an urgent review by the new Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, of Mr Bailey’s appointment as Governor of the Bank of England.

It also wants the Treasury Select Committee to summon Bailey to address the issues raised and to launch an independent review of the appointment process in relation to the roles of Governor of the Bank of England and CEO of the FCA.

Gina Miller said: “Andrew Bailey’s tenure as CEO of the FCA has been characterised by a toxic cocktail of negligence, incompetence and indifference to the needs of ordinary depositors, investors and pensioners. On his watch, hundreds of thousands of Britons have lost money – in many cases, losing their life savings which has devastated their lives, families and businesses.

“The report we have published today makes it clear Mr Bailey is not a fit and proper person to be the next Governor of the Bank of England. Were he to be confirmed in this highly responsible and prominent role, it would be a gross betrayal of the Government’s duty to protect consumers, and a textbook example of rewarding failure. Mr Bailey’s successor at the FCA must satisfy policymakers and the public they are competent and committed to protecting consumers and to ending the apathetic culture within the FCA which Mr Bailey appears to have effectively institutionalised.”

Former Liberal Democrat leader, Vince Cable, said: “This report is a damning indictment of failure by the FCA to exercise proper regulatory oversight over conduct within the banking and wider UK financial services system.”

“As Secretary of State for Business I put forward to the FCA detailed evidence on the conflicts of interest and other failures by the GRG division in RBS during and after the financial crisis. The case studies, and others brought to light subsequently, established clear evidence of systematic and widespread mistreatment of business customers by or with the knowledge of senior management. Even after endless delays, appropriate action has not been taken by the regulator. I can also confirm that I was shown, as a minister and as an MP, the evidence of serious misconduct within the Lloyds Group, HBOS - apparently known to senior management - which was never followed up by the FCA.”

Anthony Stansfeld, Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “There has been little effort or enthusiasm by many regulatory authorities, notably the Bank of England, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the FCA, to either stop these frauds or bring the perpetrators to justice. These major frauds, unlike Libor and PPI, were not skimming off the top. They have ruined thousands of companies, and families and jobs have been destroyed. In the UK nothing has been done. There would appear to be a systematic cover up.”

Shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, commented: “This report reinforces that we were right to call on the last chancellor on several occasions to postpone the installation of Andrew Bailey in office as governor until there had been an independent review of his role at the FCA.

“This report is pretty damning and confirms Labour’s proposal last year for a major reform of our overall regulatory system. Nothing short would risk further rip offs of honest investors.”

An FCA spokesperson said: “We utterly reject these claims which contain numerous inaccuracies and are made with little understanding of the role of the FCA.

“We have disagreed with the Millers on numerous issues relating to the investment industry, and our oversight of it, over recent years and we note their previous calls on Andrew to resign. This is just another example.

“In fact through FCA interventions millions of people have benefited including the most vulnerable in society.

“This includes fundamentally reforming the consumer credit market by capping the costs of payday lending and rent-to-own, making the biggest changes to overdrafts in a generation and providing support for those in long-term credit card debt.

“We hold firms to account and where we find failures we take action, with the FCA fining firms nearly £5bn since 2013 and tens of billions of pounds being returned to customers through redress schemes.”

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